Patient Story

Life Is Meant For Living Despite Prostate Cancer

Gerg and Lori Cancun

Greg lives with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC), having been diagnosed in 2017. After learning that there was no cure for mHSPC, Greg decided to take part in a clinical trial to find a treatment option that would potentially improve his health and help others living with prostate cancer. The results have been positive and have allowed Greg and Lori, his wife for 26 years, to enjoy their lives together alongside their two adored cats, Grayson and Millie.

Greg’s Prostate Cancer Journey 

After taking a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test during his primary care checkup in the spring of 2017, Greg learned that his PSA level was 87. While PSA may vary by age, most people have a PSA level below 41.  At the time, Greg did not have any symptoms. Upon this shocking discovery, he underwent a biopsy and additional scans – and the news was crushing. The doctor confirmed it was prostate cancer. 

Retired and looking forward to spending time traveling with his wife Lori, the initial shock of the news took a heavy emotional toll on Greg. However, with the help of his family and doctors, Greg has been able to better manage his prostate cancer and learned to “stay optimistic and not give up.”    

Immediately after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Greg was referred to an oncologist who provided him and Lori with information on different treatment options, allowing them both to feel reassured and hopeful for the future. He was made aware that he was eligible to participate in a clinical trial, as his cancer had spread outside of his prostate but was still positively responding to hormone therapy. Optimistic about the options Greg was presented with, his decision to participate in the trial came from his willingness to try something new that might be the key to improving his health and potentially making a significant impact on others with prostate cancer. 

Although it has now been five years since his initial diagnosis, his prostate cancer journey is still a work in progress. Lori still finds her “stomach turn” with anxiety when they go for his regular check-ups and is flooded with relief when they hear good news.   

I know my experience may not be the same as everyone else’s, so I encourage everyone to speak with their doctors about what treatments are right for them. I also encourage everyone to speak with their doctors about possible side effects and how to manage them.

The Evolving Prostate Cancer Treatment Landscape

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in 105 countries across the world. In 2018, an estimated 1.3 million men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 359,000 died from the disease worldwide. Prostate cancer is also the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in men2.  However, the treatment landscape has significantly evolved in recent years, fueled by innovative scientific research which has contributed to improved patient outcomes. According to a recent study, if caught early enough, prostate cancer is very treatable. Prostate cancer treatments during stages 1 and 2 have a near 100% five-year survival rate compared to around 50% at stage 43

I encourage others who are over the age of 45 to talk to their doctors about getting PSA testing and yearly exams. I did not know what a PSA test was until my primary care doctor explained it to me. Receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis was a scary experience, but with help from my doctor and support from Lori, I am now managing my prostate cancer. I’m also able to continue doing the things I love, like traveling.

Life is Meant for Living, Together 

“Find a support system, whoever they may be.” - Greg

Despite the unpredictable nature of prostate cancer, Greg is grateful to have embarked on this journey with support from his loving wife Lori. 

We’ve been lucky to feel so supported every step of the way. We couldn’t have asked for a better healthcare team; they’re always ready and willing to answer any questions we have and ensure we feel comfortable. Having this support has been invaluable.

When asked to describe their prostate cancer journey together, Lori confidently says, “Greg and I are a team”. Attending nearly all his doctor’s appointments and keeping a notebook close to her with all his health stats and test results, Lori has maintained a positive attitude throughout this experience and has never left Greg’s side. 

For Greg and Lori, prostate cancer hasn’t stopped them from doing the things they love, together. That includes spending time with Lori’s 96-year-old mother, joining her at the family farm, and going into town to get coffee as well as visiting family across the country. Their favorite past time, an annual winter getaway to Cancun, had to stop for a couple of years during the pandemic, but they’re both excited to be resuming the trip soon again.

Going to Cancun is my favorite tradition Greg and I share. We’ve always loved to travel and especially enjoy spending time together relaxing on the beach and going out to eat.

Whether you are a patient or a loved one of someone with the disease, prostate cancer can affect how you approach your life and relationships. Support, in any form, plays a huge role in coping with the disease and finding a way back to doing the things you love. In Greg’s words, “having supportive people surrounding you really does make all the difference.” 

At the time this article is published, Greg is still being treated and receiving regular scans.  

About Prostate Cancer at Bayer

Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The company has the passion and determination to develop new medicines that help improve and extend the lives of people living with cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and a key area of focus for Bayer. The company’s franchise includes two products on the market and several compounds in development. Bayer is focused on addressing the unique medical needs of prostate cancer patients, providing treatments that extend their lives throughout the different stages of the disease and allowing them to continue their everyday activities, so that they can live both longer and better lives.

1American Cancer Association: Screening Tests for Prostate Cancer. Accessed October 2022.
2 GLOBOCAN 2018: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2018. Prostate Cancer. Accessed October 2022.
3 NHS England: Checks for Prostate Cancer Hit All-time High on back of NHS and Charity Awareness Campaign. Accessed October 2022.

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